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AUB Nature Conservation Center
Programs - Food and Health in Rural Lebanon

Options to improve dietary diversity, food security, livelihoods and ecosystem management

The objective of this project is to develop interventions and provide policy options for improved dietary diversity, food security and health in poor and vulnerable communities in Lebanon. Due to the constant change in dietary habits and a shift towards a more westernized one, as well as the deteriorating rural ecosystems and the worrying increase in new and different health challenges, the center researched intervention methods in this regard. Results from former research conducted and entitled Wild Edible Plants: Promoting Dietary Diversity in Poor Communities of Lebanon, have shown a poor health status of rural communities and a deterioration of ecosystems supporting poor and marginalized communities in Lebanon.

The current project focuses on exploring the social, economic, and environmental determinants of health in improving rural livelihoods, particularly for the vulnerable segments, women and their children, through further analysis of the relationship between health and the environment, as well as the benefits, risks, viability, and resilience of rural ecosystems to support healthy people. This project combines research with intervention, and aims, in particular, towards exploring the ecosystem and the identification of beneficiary elements/practices, including diet, biodiversity, physical activity, and cultural practices. It also seeks to promote healthy life choices and food habits as well as the wellbeing of individuals and the community.

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